Online data collection has begun to revolutionize the behavioral sciences. However, conducting carefully controlled behavioral experiments online introduces a number of new of technical and scientific challenges. The project described in this paper, psiTurk, is an open-source platform which helps researchers develop experiment designs which can be conducted over the Internet. The tool primarily interfaces with Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, a popular crowd-sourcing labor market. This paper describes the basic architecture of the system and introduces new users to the overall goals. psiTurk aims to reduce the technical hurdles for researchers developing online experiments while improving the transparency and collaborative nature of the behavioral sciences.
The psiTurk project is hosted on GitHub (https://www.github.com/NYUCCL/psiTurk) and at its main webpage (https://www.psiturk.org). The commissioned logo reflects the community-built orientation of the project. A core philosophy is that better scientific software can be developed with more diverse input from many programmers (Raymond 1999)